The Orissa High Court has directed the state government to declare the entire forest land within the Bhitarkanike wildlife sanctuary as a reserve forest. The sanctuary, rich with biomass, has been at the receiving end due to intense human activity. This has resulted in the shrinking of mangrove forests, besides choking of the creeks where barriers are erected from time to time for netting fish. The court while asking the government to remove encro-achments within the sanctuary, has also sought the formation of a panel to suggest steps for protecting the area's green cover.
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